Ben Barba is back!!
It’s the moment we have all been waiting for since Barba’s hiatus from the game. The 2012 Dally M winner will match up on Friday afternoon against South’s supremo Greg Inglis in his first game of the year.
The only thing that may mean the match-up may not live up to the billing is the fact that Barba doesn’t have much football in his legs to date in 2013.
Michael Ennis insists that Barba is in great shape, but we will have a better idea on how he is fairing towards the back end of the game.
Barba, when on song, is electrifying to watch.
His opposite, Greg Inglis has been at his damaging best this season. Inglis possesses traits every NRL player wishes they had, he is big, fast, strong and has great ball skills. The key to a Bulldogs victory is obviously nullifying this man.
There is a correlation between experienced NRL coaches and Inglis having a quiet game. Last year on a few occasions, Craig Bellamy did a wonderful job of keeping Inglis’s input to a minimum. The most impressive instance was in the 2nd qualifying final which Melbourne won 24-6.
Des Hasler has the know how and the cattle to execute a game plan limiting Inglis’s involvement. Canterbury did it well in the Preliminary final last year, routing South’s 32-8.
There are of course those games where no amount of coaching will stop Inglis, for the Bulldogs sake lets hope it doesn’t happen Friday afternoon.
Kick Off – Friday 4.00pm (ADST)